China pledges on New Year to sustain economic growth


Beijing: Chinese are celebrating their New Year beginning Sunday with a pledge to sustain the country’s economic development so as to ensure better living standards for themselves.

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Leaders in China greeted people on the occasion, which coincides with the fortnight-long Spring Festival, according to the country’s lunar calendar.

“We are going to work harder during the new year to effectively solve the problems concerning people’s livelihood, try hard to create more job opportunities, and continue to enhance the income level of rural and urban residents, in order to let people do their best in their proper place,” Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said.

President Hu Jintao chaired a function Friday to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year named the ‘Year of Tiger’. The event was attended by more than 4,000 people.

Hu, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, offered greetings to Chinese people across the country and abroad.

Priority should be given to “persistence in taking economic development as the central task, forcefully promoting reform and opening up, transforming the growth pattern, accelerating the economic structure adjustment, and doing a better job responding to the international financial crisis, in order to keep steady and relatively fast economic development”, the prime minister said in his speech.

“All the things we do are aimed at letting people live more happily with more dignity,” he said.

The past year was an “extraordinary and uplifting” year for China, in which, facing an unprecedented international financial crisis, the country took resolute measures with confidence and calmness, promptly reversing the downward economic trend and taking the lead in the global economic recovery, Xinhua quoted Wen as saying.

In 2010, China will face a more complicated situation, both at home and abroad, the premier said, calling upon people to “keep a sober mind and an enhanced sense of anxiety about lagging behind”.

Wen also said the government should forcefully develop education in order to promote educational equity, boosting its quality and granting each child access to schooling.